December 15, 2011

When the call came in

It was a warm day in Guangzhou, China.  My 2 1/2-year-old daughter of four months was taking a nap on the other side of our suite at the Garden Hotel.  I was looking from the window across the smoggy cityscape packed with millions, and I was praying for our family.  Glory's CO2 levels were rising and pretty soon her brain would tell her body to stop breathing.  It was only a matter of hours now.

The phone rang.

"Hello?" I asked.  I wondered if I should be sitting down.

"She just passed, honey," came Daniel's voice.

And that was all he said.  I gently said goodbye and we hung up.  Daniel and I had decided ahead of time that if she passed while I was on Jubilee's visa trip in Guangzhou, there would be no way to get Daniel back for the funeral.  My heart and my head fell.  All I could think about was Kerry. 

Yet, as I sat alone in room 1506, on the other side of the world, I knew that Kerry and Philip are not to be felt sorry for.  In this life they have been given two daughters, Eliana and Glory, and though Glory's life on earth has ended, her life eternal has only just begun.  She is free now, to breathe without laboring, and to walk and not grow weary, and to say all the words she couldn't in her 16 months in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Kerry and Philip will begin a new journey now, to live out the rest of their days in the spirit of their fighting baby girl, trusting in the One who gives and takes away.

Daniel and I were up past midnight last night, wearing black, when the call came in from Glory's funeral.  The music was beautiful, the arrangements were stunning, the casket was lovely, and the pictures of precious Glory were breathtaking.  Kerry and Philip, though grieving parents that they are, had an almost visible cloud of celebration around them. It was evident even through the webcam. 

I hope that when my call comes in, I am living and fighting and loving and trusting like Glory was when the L0RD called her home this week.  Like the pastor said in Glory's eulogy, some people live their whole lives and never live, their whole lives.  May my story be different.  May I live, as my niece did, for the glory of G0D.